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Why aren't there game console-like PCs?

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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 32,487
    Lokero said:
    I don't think the market is really there, at least not yet.  As consoles and PCs become more and more homogeneous, we are certainly getting closer to that point.

    Most PC enthusiasts expect to spend more and get much better power, performance, etc. than you'd find in a streamlined ComSole.

    If people are going to choose between spending $500 on:
    A)  A Playstation, etc.
    B)  A new smart phone
    C)  A lower end gaming-PC

    ... PC will come up short in the majority of users' cases.

    Ironically, even though we are closer to having a blended market, this just makes the need for a PC become less important, too.  Now that consoles have TV/movie streaming, marketplaces built-in, etc., there's not a lot of incentive to pick a comsole over a regular console, unless you need a PC for reasons other than entertainment.  And, when you need a PC for other reasons, you probably aren't going to want a system focused on budget gaming.

    It's like a blind spot in the market, certainly, but it's been neglected for a reason, imo.

    I guess, putting it in simplest terms, I'm asking, "Does such a niche area of the market really seem worth it for such low per-sale profitability?"

    Edit:  I wanted to also mention costs of shipping and returns, etc.  Chances are, a company like this would be hit much, much harder with the blowback of returns and shipping costs, particularly since you wouldn't likely find one of these products 'on the shelf', so to speak.
    I want to know where to buy the new $500 Smartphone.

    Apple XS releasing in the $999 to $1499 range.

    ;)

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  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,409
    edited September 2018
    Kyleran said:
    Lokero said:
    I don't think the market is really there, at least not yet.  As consoles and PCs become more and more homogeneous, we are certainly getting closer to that point.

    Most PC enthusiasts expect to spend more and get much better power, performance, etc. than you'd find in a streamlined ComSole.

    If people are going to choose between spending $500 on:
    A)  A Playstation, etc.
    B)  A new smart phone
    C)  A lower end gaming-PC

    ... PC will come up short in the majority of users' cases.

    Ironically, even though we are closer to having a blended market, this just makes the need for a PC become less important, too.  Now that consoles have TV/movie streaming, marketplaces built-in, etc., there's not a lot of incentive to pick a comsole over a regular console, unless you need a PC for reasons other than entertainment.  And, when you need a PC for other reasons, you probably aren't going to want a system focused on budget gaming.

    It's like a blind spot in the market, certainly, but it's been neglected for a reason, imo.

    I guess, putting it in simplest terms, I'm asking, "Does such a niche area of the market really seem worth it for such low per-sale profitability?"

    Edit:  I wanted to also mention costs of shipping and returns, etc.  Chances are, a company like this would be hit much, much harder with the blowback of returns and shipping costs, particularly since you wouldn't likely find one of these products 'on the shelf', so to speak.
    I want to know where to buy the new $500 Smartphone.

    Apple XS releasing in the $999 to $1499 range.

    ;)
    I don't think that this gaming console -like PC is aimed for people who can afford new Apple phone. This is more for those guys who buy $200 smartphone because it's good enough.
     
  • KonfessKonfess Member RarePosts: 1,666
    edited September 2018
    Phry

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
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    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.
    Even telemarketers wouldn't think that.
    It costs money to play.  Therefore P2W.

  • GanksinatraGanksinatra Member UncommonPosts: 451
    ...there are PCs like that. Not too many anymore. No one bought them. I know Alienware had one at one point. So did Steam. Very little actual "computer" functionality, but played games off Steam (the Alienware one did all games by the end). You can make a microcomputer now that is about the size of a PS4. My son's last one was the size of a medium sized DVD player.
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 10,935
    Budget gaming Pc's give you a budget gaming experience, if you want a quality gaming experience buy at least a mid ranged gaming PC.

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  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,442
    Scot said:
    Budget gaming Pc's give you a budget gaming experience, if you want a quality gaming experience buy at least a mid ranged gaming PC.
    This is a mid ranged gaming PC 

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,591
    Kyleran said:
    I want to know where to buy the new $500 Smartphone.

    Apple XS releasing in the $999 to $1499 range.

    ;)
    It's called the iPhone excess for a reason.
    LokeroKyleran
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 5,848
    edited September 2018
    Quizzical said:
    gervaise1 said:
    Quizzical said:
    <snip>
    You're basically arguing that most of the computer hardware that you can buy today either doesn't or shouldn't exist.  Especially in the lower budget range, computers are a very competitive market and profit margins are low.

    Microsoft and Sony surely do get a per-unit discount from AMD, but that's compensation for having paid the up front development costs of the hardware, meaning that AMD is guaranteed to make a profit on developing the consoles without regard to whether Microsoft or Sony buy many chips or few.

    As for the "if it was possible" line, have you ever looked at prebuilt desktops or laptops?  The hardware configurations are completely insane.  For example, it's been possible for many years to include a $100 SSD in a sub-$1000 laptop, but laptop vendors couldn't be bothered to do so until recently.
    @Quizzical
    I think you missed the point of "if it was possible". Just because they may sell some stupid builds doesn't mean that if they had the secret recipe to some all conquering build they would ignore it; we have to believe they would build it and clean up! However I was thinking about "total costs".

    Lets assume it is possible to price components that can be used to create a suitable "low cost decent power" PC - and based on component costs "we" are inclined to feel that that should be the case. sorting the component costs is only a part of the task however. Once built the company then has to sell what it has built.

    Even if we ignore the upfront costs - which will generate interest charges if the company has borrowed the money, interest that will add to the cost - they then have to spend money to sell it. And selling costs.

    And if they have no name and are up against a known brand with an established reputation for quality buid etc. it won't be enough to sell at slightly less; they will have to sell at a "lot less" to make people take a leap of faith.

    And additionally the % cost difference shrinks when you allow for thinks like distribution, packaging, build, order invoicing etc. At best a new company will only be able to match these costs. In reality MS and Sony have refined their operations so they will almost certainly be higher. 

    And the lower the companies margin the higher their sales volume needs to be to recoup the non-hardware costs. Those MS and Sony development costs that factor into the AMD cost ... they are costs that are been spread over many, many units.  

    I agree with you that it would be wonderful. For it to happen though I think we will need a very small number of manufacturers selling many millions worldwide. 

    Maybe a super Rasberry Pi !
     
    Post edited by gervaise1 on
  • MMOman101MMOman101 Member UncommonPosts: 1,652
    I think the framework of this question is wrong.  I know I brought up an idea years ago on this sight.  I think the issue is not the hardware, it is the software.

    I would like to see someone come up with a gaming OS.  Something that would emulate Windows close enough to play make games playable, but be very stripped down.  Maybe make it dual boot and use actual files associated with windows OS installed on the system. 

    Windows is incredibly bloated.  One of the things that makes consoles so effective is they have extremely efficient OS and kernal for gaming. 

    I am sure that this is a more reasonable solution to the mid range gaming machine.  Hardware is a commodity so driving down the cost enough to get the performance with the same software is basically impossible.  We need extremely efficient software to allow the hardware to be more effective.   Windows is not the answer.

    I am not sure the consumer would be happy with any reasonable solution though.  The software would have to be on the same client they already use and for their normal PC workload. 

    “It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

    --John Ruskin







  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 12,167
    I wish there were but if it's going to happen in a large scale I could only see Steam pulling it off because of their already well-established and massive ecosystem.

    Kyleran
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  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,409
    MMOman101 said:
    I think the framework of this question is wrong.  I know I brought up an idea years ago on this sight.  I think the issue is not the hardware, it is the software.

    I would like to see someone come up with a gaming OS.  Something that would emulate Windows close enough to play make games playable, but be very stripped down.  Maybe make it dual boot and use actual files associated with windows OS installed on the system. 

    Windows is incredibly bloated.  One of the things that makes consoles so effective is they have extremely efficient OS and kernal for gaming. 

    I am sure that this is a more reasonable solution to the mid range gaming machine.  Hardware is a commodity so driving down the cost enough to get the performance with the same software is basically impossible.  We need extremely efficient software to allow the hardware to be more effective.   Windows is not the answer.

    I am not sure the consumer would be happy with any reasonable solution though.  The software would have to be on the same client they already use and for their normal PC workload. 
    A gaming OS wouldn't help much. It would use less hard disk space and less RAM, but that's about it. As long as you've got enough of both, it wouldn't give you any significant performance improvements.

    Consoles can often do more with same hardware because there are very few hardware configurations and the devs can take their time optimize the game and its settings for your hardware configuration, not because their OS would be somehow magically more effective.
     
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 10,469
    Quizzical said:
    Kyleran said:
    I want to know where to buy the new $500 Smartphone.

    Apple XS releasing in the $999 to $1499 range.

    ;)
    It's called the iPhone excess for a reason.
    Probably because Apple is now a chinese company.  ;)
    blueturtle13Kyleran
  • MisterZebubMisterZebub Member EpicPosts: 3,362
    Kyleran said:
    Lokero said:
    I don't think the market is really there, at least not yet.  As consoles and PCs become more and more homogeneous, we are certainly getting closer to that point.

    Most PC enthusiasts expect to spend more and get much better power, performance, etc. than you'd find in a streamlined ComSole.

    If people are going to choose between spending $500 on:
    A)  A Playstation, etc.
    B)  A new smart phone
    C)  A lower end gaming-PC

    ... PC will come up short in the majority of users' cases.

    Ironically, even though we are closer to having a blended market, this just makes the need for a PC become less important, too.  Now that consoles have TV/movie streaming, marketplaces built-in, etc., there's not a lot of incentive to pick a comsole over a regular console, unless you need a PC for reasons other than entertainment.  And, when you need a PC for other reasons, you probably aren't going to want a system focused on budget gaming.

    It's like a blind spot in the market, certainly, but it's been neglected for a reason, imo.

    I guess, putting it in simplest terms, I'm asking, "Does such a niche area of the market really seem worth it for such low per-sale profitability?"

    Edit:  I wanted to also mention costs of shipping and returns, etc.  Chances are, a company like this would be hit much, much harder with the blowback of returns and shipping costs, particularly since you wouldn't likely find one of these products 'on the shelf', so to speak.
    I want to know where to buy the new $500 Smartphone.

    Apple XS releasing in the $999 to $1499 range.

    ;)
    Easy tell Apple and Samsung to fuck off and buy from someone like Blu.


    “I was, in days gone by, a believer. But, alas, I came to this beleaguered land and the God in me just … evaporated. Let us change our toast, then, to the God that has forgotten us.”

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 6,717
    Wasn’t this the direction Steam Machines were eventually supposed to move to?
    blueturtle13Torval
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 5,848
    Ridelynn said:
    Wasn’t this the direction Steam Machines were eventually supposed to move to?
    Agreed. Then Steam discovered mobile.
    RidelynnMikehaScotTorval
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,356
    Sure you can build a decent gaming PC for $500.  Trouble with that is you basically lose the prime motive for having a PC, expandability because you have to cut so many corners to do so.
    Ridelynn
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,591
    gervaise1 said:
    Quizzical said:
    You're basically arguing that most of the computer hardware that you can buy today either doesn't or shouldn't exist.  Especially in the lower budget range, computers are a very competitive market and profit margins are low.

    Microsoft and Sony surely do get a per-unit discount from AMD, but that's compensation for having paid the up front development costs of the hardware, meaning that AMD is guaranteed to make a profit on developing the consoles without regard to whether Microsoft or Sony buy many chips or few.

    As for the "if it was possible" line, have you ever looked at prebuilt desktops or laptops?  The hardware configurations are completely insane.  For example, it's been possible for many years to include a $100 SSD in a sub-$1000 laptop, but laptop vendors couldn't be bothered to do so until recently.
    @Quizzical
    I think you missed the point of "if it was possible". Just because they may sell some stupid builds doesn't mean that if they had the secret recipe to some all conquering build they would ignore it; we have to believe they would build it and clean up! However I was thinking about "total costs".

    Lets assume it is possible to price components that can be used to create a suitable "low cost decent power" PC - and based on component costs "we" are inclined to feel that that should be the case. sorting the component costs is only a part of the task however. Once built the company then has to sell what it has built.

    Even if we ignore the upfront costs - which will generate interest charges if the company has borrowed the money, interest that will add to the cost - they then have to spend money to sell it. And selling costs.

    And if they have no name and are up against a known brand with an established reputation for quality buid etc. it won't be enough to sell at slightly less; they will have to sell at a "lot less" to make people take a leap of faith.

    And additionally the % cost difference shrinks when you allow for thinks like distribution, packaging, build, order invoicing etc. At best a new company will only be able to match these costs. In reality MS and Sony have refined their operations so they will almost certainly be higher. 

    And the lower the companies margin the higher their sales volume needs to be to recoup the non-hardware costs. Those MS and Sony development costs that factor into the AMD cost ... they are costs that are been spread over many, many units.  

    I agree with you that it would be wonderful. For it to happen though I think we will need a very small number of manufacturers selling many millions worldwide. 

    Maybe a super Rasberry Pi !
     
    You're missing the point.  Your arguments are against producing any product ever.

    Let's suppose that a company is going to sell computers.  For a particular model, they're going to spend $X each to build a computer that they'll try to sell for $Y.  X and Y are some fixed amounts, but they'll have a number of models and options in that range.

    Why don't they take one such model and optimize how they spend that $X to make it the best gaming computer that they can?  For large values of $X and $Y, they sometimes do.  But why doesn't anyone do that for $Y = $400 or $500 or $600 so, at least outside of game consoles?

    PlayRuyi is doing exactly that with the Subor Z+.  But why are they the only one?
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 6,717
    I think the biggest deteriment to a console-esque PC build is, that for the price, there's always going to be a PC out there that outperforms it by a significant margin.

    The fact that it also costs more by a significant margin isn't even considered. 

    You see it all the time here even in these forums - don't buy XYZ, buy ABC instead because it's faster... even though ABC blows through any set budget by some ridiculous amount.

    Consoles don't have that same burden of performance or price delta - there's just Brand X or  Brand S, and that's pretty much it.
    QuizzicalOzmodan
  • esc-joconnoresc-joconnor Member RarePosts: 1,015
    Quizzical said:
    Consoles lose money on pretty much every sale, much of the revenue comes from the license to develop on the platform being one. Developing specifically for one specific type of hardware combination with an OS built to do pretty much one specific task also affects performance is another.
    Which is why I said you increase the price tag a little.  If you're losing $20 on every console you sell by selling them for $400, wouldn't you make money on every unit you sell if you're selling them for $500?  Why can't someone do that?

    And game consoles aren't nearly as special built of hardware as they used to.  The PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, and Xbox One X all run off the shelf x86 CPU cores and a GCN/Polaris GPU--the same architectures you'd get in a PC.  The Nintendo Switch runs a completely standard Tegra X1 that Nvidia had built for other purposes, with ARM cores like you'd get in any cell phone or tablet and a Maxwell GPU like you'd get in a PC, though that's a much lower performance target than what I had in mind here.
    I'd like to see this too. But I think you are underestimating how much they lose on consoles. Looking at phones is a better example because you can see how much they cost with a plan and without. In Japan, I can get a phone for about $400 cheaper with a cell plan. That's for a recent $1000 phone. 

    Steam might be able to pull this off. Sign up for a 2 yer Steam contract to buy games. Have a monthly contract to spend X dollars, that carries over for a set number of months. I might go for that depending on the PC and the monthly amount.
  • NorseGodNorseGod Member RarePosts: 1,751
    Guys, i need a console that's a pc, but still called a console so i can continue to be an edgy console snob. wut do?
    Come home, North Man.
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,409
    NorseGod said:
    Guys, i need a console that's a pc, but still called a console so i can continue to be an edgy console snob. wut do?
    Reconsider your priorities and adopt a more positive attitude.
     
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 6,717
    Quizzical said:
    Consoles lose money on pretty much every sale, much of the revenue comes from the license to develop on the platform being one. Developing specifically for one specific type of hardware combination with an OS built to do pretty much one specific task also affects performance is another.
    Which is why I said you increase the price tag a little.  If you're losing $20 on every console you sell by selling them for $400, wouldn't you make money on every unit you sell if you're selling them for $500?  Why can't someone do that?

    And game consoles aren't nearly as special built of hardware as they used to.  The PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, and Xbox One X all run off the shelf x86 CPU cores and a GCN/Polaris GPU--the same architectures you'd get in a PC.  The Nintendo Switch runs a completely standard Tegra X1 that Nvidia had built for other purposes, with ARM cores like you'd get in any cell phone or tablet and a Maxwell GPU like you'd get in a PC, though that's a much lower performance target than what I had in mind here.
    I'd like to see this too. But I think you are underestimating how much they lose on consoles. Looking at phones is a better example because you can see how much they cost with a plan and without. In Japan, I can get a phone for about $400 cheaper with a cell plan. That's for a recent $1000 phone. 

    Steam might be able to pull this off. Sign up for a 2 yer Steam contract to buy games. Have a monthly contract to spend X dollars, that carries over for a set number of months. I might go for that depending on the PC and the monthly amount.
    If you can standardize around a small number of components, reduce the number of sockets and connections, and make as much of the assembly automated, you can really reduce the manufacturing cost considerably, especially when your planning on manufacturing thousands/millions of identical units. This is, after all, a good part of the reason that consoles often start out losing money, but by the time they have cranked out a few million of them end up making money, even while offering discounts.

    I mean, look at successful laptops, phones, and consoles. There is almost nothing on them that is end-user upgradeable. That is big part of what they do to control cost (or, in the case of Apple, protect margin). I don't necessarily mean to equate user upgradeability with mass production -- that isn't necessarily true. But there is no reason to pay extra for the ability to upgrade when it's contrary to your business model (trying to sell a new model next year), adds manufacturing complexity, adds additional points of failure (a ZIFF socket is much more susceptible to having something go wrong than soldered BGA, for instance) and it adds additional material cost.

    There's nothing that has prevented a PC manufacturer from doing the same. In fact, I'd argue Apple has done it since 2013, which was when they phased out the last Desktop that had significant amount of upgradeability. Apple just doesn't cater to gaming (except on iOS, to some degree).

    Several manufacturers have done it with gaming-specific laptops to varying degrees. Just none have tried to target a console price point: something that would be easier to do if you aren't attempting to bundle a LCD screen in a foldable form factor.

    Gamers, and the PC crowd in general, prize upgradeability and hardware diversity. Historically they have been more than willing to pay for it in the past. I don't see any reason why anyone would look to subsidize something when the market is proving willing to bear the cost, and then some.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 18,818
    Ridelynn said:
    I think the biggest deteriment to a console-esque PC build is, that for the price, there's always going to be a PC out there that outperforms it by a significant margin.

    The fact that it also costs more by a significant margin isn't even considered. 

    You see it all the time here even in these forums - don't buy XYZ, buy ABC instead because it's faster... even though ABC blows through any set budget by some ridiculous amount.

    Consoles don't have that same burden of performance or price delta - there's just Brand X or  Brand S, and that's pretty much it.
    Another aspect to this is that an OS is big and fat. It takes a lot of overhead to load drivers and offer compatibility for every scenario in the tech universe. Consoles don't have that problem. They're OS is designed to provide a very specific experience. It's optimized and the access to system resources is optimized and much more efficient compared to an OS operating on similarly powered hardware.

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  • BrunlinBrunlin Member UncommonPosts: 75
       At a 600 dollar price point you could have a good budget build steam box, with out a monitor of course. You would be limited to a i3 8100 or less, a 1050 ti, 8 gigs of ddr 4 at the cheapest ignoring Cas latency, either a cheap small SSD or a 1tb blue WD, and no bigger than a 600 watt psu. You would have to get your Windows 10 key from a cheap third party site. You would be able to play anything out there on at least medium or high, depending on what it is at 60 fps 1920 x 1080 gaming. It would also be a better experience than any console in my opinion. It would be a good starter and later could easily be upgraded. 

    If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 6,717
    Torval said:
    Ridelynn said:
    I think the biggest deteriment to a console-esque PC build is, that for the price, there's always going to be a PC out there that outperforms it by a significant margin.

    The fact that it also costs more by a significant margin isn't even considered. 

    You see it all the time here even in these forums - don't buy XYZ, buy ABC instead because it's faster... even though ABC blows through any set budget by some ridiculous amount.

    Consoles don't have that same burden of performance or price delta - there's just Brand X or  Brand S, and that's pretty much it.
    Another aspect to this is that an OS is big and fat. It takes a lot of overhead to load drivers and offer compatibility for every scenario in the tech universe. Consoles don't have that problem. They're OS is designed to provide a very specific experience. It's optimized and the access to system resources is optimized and much more efficient compared to an OS operating on similarly powered hardware.

    I don’t know that I buy the OS bloat excuse too much. 

    Right now hardware is so fast comparatively that the bloat in modern OS is negligible. Also, we have Xbox running a version of Win10, and Sony running a kind-of-Linux kernel. Sure they are optimized but they aren’t far removed from general purpose OSes.

    also, even if you wanted a specific case OS - dual booting or virtualization make that possible to do pretty transparently.
    QuizzicalOzmodan
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